Review by general531

"An instant classic"

Spellbinding Graphics, smooth and intuitive control, deep game design, and a majestic soundtrack. That sums up the instant classic known as God of War. The ancient Greek epic is packed with puzzles, weapons, spells, and vicious enemies. The puzzles are creative, the weapons are potent, the spells are varied, and the enemies are relentless. The scenery is detailed and stunning. The controls are easy to master. The game is loaded with secret area that will help you on your journey. The story is lengthy and inventive. The audio and voice-acting is great. Simply put, God of War is a spectacular game. I highly recommend it.

The visuals in God of War are near perfect. Kratos and his enemies have a near life-like look to them. The heads of the gods that give you your spells and weapons are unbelievably textured and their animation is perfect. The on-screen stats, such as your health, magic, and upgrade meters, are easy to tell apart. The enemies are easy to see, so you will not have difficulty spotting the baddies that want to kill you. The tone of the graphics are reflective of the game's brutal content and grim story. You will not find a bright, happy setting in this game. This game is dark, so you will need to utilize your TV's brightness option.

The animation and physics are awesome and second-to-none. The brutal contact of enemies will leave them bloody and the effects are executed close to perfection. The hit-detection is spot-on, so when you land on a platform or strike a baddie, you will know it. The effects are brutal. The animation is adjusted so Kratos can rip the wings off of harpies. He can grab enemy soldiers and either swing them around or give them a break...literally.

Some of the enemies in God of War are giant, especially the bosses. The minotaurs and cyclopes are about four times the size of the Spartan warrior. But the enemy that scares even me are the Hydras. Kratos looks like a tiny insect compared to these frightening monsters. Sony did a great job on all of the enemies as far as appearance is concerned. They are easy to detect and their animation is beautiful.

The camera is the small problem I have with God of War. There are times in which the camera angles will be awkward and the lack of a camera control can be frustrating. Overall, the graphics are fabulous and Sony should be commended for a job perfectly done.

The controls of God of War are simple, intuitive, responsive, and easy to master. Switching between spells is just a simple matter of pressing the D-pad in conjunction with the spell you want. A heavy attack is executed simply by pressing the triangle button. Pulling off magic attacks are as easy as pressing the L2 button, but certain variations of attacks might require a tilt of the stick and a press of a certain button. The sword moves are easy to perform and if you can master all of them, enemies should start begging for mercy right away. Jumping is easy to execute, but without camera control, you can miss a platform and fall to your death. However, the camera is placed just fine pretty much throughout the game, especially during the do-or-die platforming sequences. Speaking of sequences, when you encounter a large enemy and weaken it, a circle icon will appear above the enemy. Press the button to start a mini-game to beat that baddie. That is a nice feature and a great alternative to just mindlessly pressing a single button repeatedly. Overall, the controls are well-executed and are near perfect.

Game Design:
God of War is deep and loaded. The bad-ass protagonist, Kratos, has two swords, four magic spells, a pack of maneuvers, and a special rage mode. He also can upgrade his health bar, magic bar, and all of his weapons and spells. Many of the chests and rooms that contain the upgrades are hidden well, so you will have to use your head to find all of them. The puzzles that you encounter are creative and inventive, possibly even more so than the "Zelda" puzzles. God of War is a loaded package and will keep you playing.

Kratos starts with the Blades of Chaos. These blades were a gift from the God of War Ares. These blades can stretch out to slice distant enemies from any direction. These are also useful for climbing on walls. He can use them for a tornado-like attack either horizontally or vertically. These blades are attached to Kratos with chains seared onto his flesh, so he can't lose them. The blades of chaos aren't the only blades the Spartan will use. Kratos will encounter the Blade of Artemis. This blade is very potent. When armed with this weapon, your attacks with this weapon will literally slice your enemies in half in either one or two hits. When powered up to its fullest, the blade will beat the toughest ogre within three strikes. Kratos has his weapons and moves, but he will need other tools to get through his journey.

Magic also aids in Kratos' journey. The spartan will acquire four spells throughout the game. They are Poseidon's Rage, Medusa's Gaze, Zeus' Fury and my personal favorite the Army of Hades. Poseidon's Rage strikes a large lightning bolt that electrocutes foes around you and weakens them. Medusa's Gaze uses a Gorgon's head to turn enemies to stone. You will have to rotate Kratos to put the Gaze on the desired enemy. An enemy in stone is easily beatable, but you can't use it against bosses sadly. Zeus' Fury shoots balls of electricity to kill the opposing forces. My favorite spell is the Army of Hades. This spell is your best friend. Kratos can summon the souls of Hades to destroy a legion of foes. This spell will take about half of your magic (pending on how long your bar is), so use it wisely. The spells are strong, but you will need to upgrade.

Kratos can extend his life and magic bars as well as level-up his weapons and spells. Kratos can extend his life bar by finding Gorgon Eyes. When he finds six Eyes, his life bar will increase. The same rule applies to his magic meter, but he will need Phoenix Feathers instead of Gorgon Eyes. Kratos will eventually find a room, unlocked by two Muse keys, that will greatly extend his two meters. You will find three colors of orbs. Green and blue orbs will refill your life and magic bars respectively, but what do red orbs do? They fill up meters for all of your weapons and items. When you fill up your meter, your weapon or spell will upgrade one level. The stronger your weapon or spell, the greater your weapon or spell power. You will also learn more moves with a higher level. It is strongly recommended that you search for these items. They will help you on your quest.

The enemies in Kratos' adventure are varied and will put up a fight. The harpies are human-like birds that are weak. You can easily rip the wings off of them. Other enemies are not that easy to kill. The most intimidating enemy are the Gorgons. They can turn you to stone and easily kill you. I recommend that you move quickly while they are giving their gaze.

God of War is littered with secret rooms and side-paths. I recommend that you open every chest you can. The contents inside will help you down the road, I assure you. Some of the chests have a glowing red, green, or blue color, so be sure to open those. You can't save when you want, but save points are frequent.

The puzzles in this game are creative. One will have you pushing a box, another will have you re-arranging stone pieces. One particularly sadistic puzzle will have you push a caged soldier into a fire to open a door. The puzzles are inventive and some even out-do those of the "Zelda" series.

God of War is a jam-packed game. It is deep and will get you hooked.

The music is in-tune with the setting of this game. It is beautiful and makes you feel that you are at a symphony. Sometimes the music will give you clues,such as an incoming enemy. Music will play an intricate role while you are in the desert.

The sound effects are realistic and at times frightening. The ripping of wings off of harpies or the contact of blade on flesh. The most scary sound effect in this game is the wind of the blade of Artemis. That sound is terrifying and should be to the poor victims of its wrath.

The voice acting is great. It is evident that all of the actors that contributed to this epic have had acting experience. This makes the cutscenes, in which you can't skip, more enjoyable. I like the narrator's voice.

The story is set-up in a frame. It start when Kratos is attempting suicide by falling off of a cliff. Before he hits the water, the screen goes black and the story goes back three weeks earlier. Kratos fights through a ship. He talks to Athena and wishes her to rid him of the nightmares of an event that happened ten years ago. They will comply if he defeats Ares, the God of War.

God of War is one of the best games of all time. The graphics are beautiful. The control is solid. Enemy combat is innovative. The game is deep. There are secrets abound. The music is majestic and the voice-acting is perfect. God of War is one of the best games I have ever played.

Score: 10 out of 10 and an instant classic.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 03/15/07

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